Thai National Parks

Reptiles of Thailand

Species of Thailand

Puff-faced mud snake

Thai: งูหัวกะโหลก, ngu hua galog

Binomial name: Homalopsis buccata, Carolus Linnaeus, 1758

Puff-faced Water Snake or Masked Water Snake (Homalopsis buccata) is a species of snake found in Asia.


Inter nasals smaller than prefrontals; frontal often broken up into small shields, a little broader or sometimes narrower than the supraocular; parietals short; loreal present, sometimes divided; one or two pre- and two postoculars; one to three suboculars may be present; temporals small; ten to twelve upper labials, fifth or sixth entering the eye or narrowly separated from it; two or three pair of chin-shields, inner in contact with the three anterior lower labials. Scales in 37–47 rows; ventrals 158–176; anal divided; subcaudals 70–106.

Dark brown above, with narrow, pale brown, black-edged transverse bands, in young specimens yellow; head pale with a triangular or V-shaped dark marking on the snout, a A-shaped spot on the occiput, and a dark band on each side passing through the eye and extending to before the eye. Lower surface white or yellowish, with dark brown spots along each side; tail with brown spots. Length of head and body 820 mm.; tail 230 mm. Eats fish and frogs.


  • Bangladesh; Myanmar, Cambodia; Thailand; Vietnam;
  • Indonesia (Bangka, Belitung, Borneo, Java, Kalimantan, Riau Archipelago, Sulawesi, Sumatra);
  • Laos; W Malaysia (Malaya); Singapore;
  • NE India; Nepal; Pulau Bangka

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Scientific classification

Homalopsis buccata

Common names

  • German: Boa-Wassertrugnatter
  • English:
    • Puff-faced mud snake
    • Linne’s water snake
    • Masked water snake
    • Puff-faced water snake
  • Thai:
    • งูหัวกะโหลก, ngu hua galog
    • งูเหลือมอ้อ, ngu leuam oor


  • Homalopsis buccata, John C. Murphy & Harold K. Voris (2014)
  • Homalopsis buccata, Nguyen Van Sang et al. (2009)
  • Homalopsis buccata, Merel J. Cox et al. (1998)
  • Homalopsis buccata, Ulrich Manthey & Wolfgang Grossmann (1997)
  • Homalopsis buccatus, André Marie Constant Duméril & Gabriel Bibron (1854)
  • Homalopsis buccata, Hermann Schlegel (1837)
  • Homalopsis monilis, Friedrich Boie (1827)
  • Homalopsis horridus, Heinrich Kuhl & Johan Coenraad van Hasselt (1822)
  • Vipera buccata, François Marie Daudin (1803)
  • Coluber horridus, François Marie Daudin (1803)
  • Coluber buccatus, Carolus Linnaeus (1758)
  • Coluber monilis, Carolus Linnaeus (1758)

Conservation status

Least Concern (IUCN3.1)

Least Concern (IUCN3.1)

Homalopsis buccata

Homalopsis buccata

Public domain

Distribution map of Puff-faced mud snake, Homalopsis buccata in Thailand

Range map of Homalopsis buccata in Thailand

Important note; our range maps are based on limited data we have collected. The data is not necessarily accurate or complete.

Special thanks to Ton Smits and Parinya Pawangkhanant for their help with many range data.

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